Ryanair Chase Guide 2022

Andy Smith | @AndySmithRacing

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
1
Paul Townend

Allaho

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 174
Days: 53

Willie Mullins’ 8 year old blew this race apart 12 months ago with a bold front running display where he jumped and galloped everything else into the ground.

His novice hurdle form is rock solid in hindsight with him beating Minella Indo in a novice only to have that form reversed in the Albert Bartlett and the 3 mile Grade 1 at Punchestown to finish 3rd and 2nd respectively.

An easy winner of 2 novice chases he was famously picked up late by Champ in the RSA in 2020 when again scrapping with Minella Indo.

Connections found success when dropping him down to 2.5 miles and he’s been lethal ever since.

He’ll bound out in front and set stiff fractions, can anyone catch him?

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-101
23/01/22THU20.5Gd/Y11-121
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-121
27/04/21PUN16Y12-02
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
6
Mr P W Mullins

Melon

J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 164
Days: 26

Cheltenham’s perpetual bridesmaid. His record at the festival is both impressive and frustrating as he’s finished 2nd four times.

A smart novice hurdler who came 2nd in the Supreme to Labaik, he was then 2nd in two renewals of the Champion hurdle.

With wins being hard to come by over hurdles connections switched him to fences and he took well to the bigger obstacles, finishing 2nd by a nose in the JLT to Samcro in 2020.

Wins have been hard to come by over fences too and he’s struggled to show the class needed to win big races but is rated too highly to drop into handicaps.

He finally got his nose back in front last time out when winning a weak Grade 2 affair over 2.5 miles.

He pulled up in this last year and isn’t to the standard of Allaho.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/22KLN20Gd11-82
17/04/22COR24Hy11-81
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-105
19/02/22GOW20Hy11-31
28/12/21LEO24Y11-124
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
8
NON-RUNNER

Saint Calvados

J: NON-RUNNER
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 160
Days: 26

After spending his time in France over hurdles, he moved over to England and immediately went chasing.

He took to fences well and won his first three starts over the bigger obstacles with ease before being beaten out of sight in the 2018 Arkle.

He kept running well in 2 mile chases but had his potential really unlocked when going over 2.5 miles and narrowly going down in a handicap at Cheltenham by a nose. He then ran a career best to be 2nd to Min in a tight finish in the 2020 renewal of this race.

He’s been lightly raced since and has been trying his hand at 3 miles with no success. He pulled up when dropped in trip for the Ascot Chase last time out but will probably appreciate going back to 2.5 miles again.

His career best came in this race but he’s vulnerable to younger types.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/04/22SAN23Gd11-01
08/04/22AIN20GS11-75
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-7PU
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-103
06/02/21SAN24Hy11-0UR
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
2
Davy Russell

Conflated

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 168
Days: 40

It took Conflated 3 attempts to win a maiden hurdle and it took him nearly 12 months to get his head in front again. He failed to win again as a novice hurdler and then took 3 attempts to score over fences too.

Mainly being campaigned over 2.5 to 3 miles he kept finding one or two too good to get seriously involved in big races.

A spell handicapping saw him pick up a decent pot at Navan over 2.5 miles with ease off a mark of 145.

His real impressive performance came last time out when springing a surprise performance to win the Irish Gold Cup at a big price. A flat 3 miles really suited him and he handily beat Minella Indo by 6.5 lengths.

He probably won’t stay in the Gold Cup so connections have plumped for this race instead. Allaho going hard in front will bring him into it.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/11/22DRO24Y11-103
07/04/22AIN25GS11-72
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-10F
05/02/22LEO24.5Y11-101
04/12/21NAV20Y11-51
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
7
James Bowen

Mister Fisher

J: James Bowen
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 159
Days: 26

A course and distance winning 8 year old for Nicky Henderson. A smart novice hurdler, he picked up grade 2 honours before a mid pack finish in the 2019 Supreme.

Taken chasing off the back of that he took to fences immediately and again managed to take Grade 2 honours on his way to the Cheltenham Festival. Eventually coming 4th in the JLT behind Samcro.

He managed to win yet another Grade 2 here at Cheltenham last season before not being able to live with Allaho in the Ryanair and pulling up.

He made his comeback with a poor effort in the King George where he pulled up. Dropping back to 2.5 miles saw him win at Kempton in another Grade 2 event before running poorly behind Fakir D’oudairies in the Ascot Chase.

He’s seemingly of Grade 2 level and struggles to make a splash at the top table.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL20Gd12-0F
23/04/22SAN23Gd11-62
08/04/22AIN20GS11-7PU
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-74
15/01/22KEM20.5Sft11-61
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
9
Harry Skelton

Shan Blue

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 148
Days: 138

A smart enough novice hurdler for Dan Skelton, he’s come on leaps and bounds for being switched to fences.
Winning his first two starts over fences, he then captured the Kauto Star at Kempton.

Managing to hold off the late attentions of The Big Breakaway. He failed to lie up in the spring festivals however and was well beaten by Chantry House over 3 miles at Aintree.

Returning to action this season in the Charlie Hall chase at Wetherby, Harry Skelton took up the running turning for home and Shan Blue had left the field for dead until a clattering fall 4 out.

Shaken up he’s not been seen since but connections have had this target in mind all season. If he’s fit and not nervous at his fences he has a big chance to go close.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/22AIN25GS11-52
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-106
30/10/21WET24GS11-3F
09/04/21AIN25GS11-42
18/03/21CHL20GS11-45
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
3
Brendan Powell

Eldorado Allen

J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 166
Days: 33

Colin Tizzard’s charge has come into his own third season having always looked like he had the potential to go far. He didn’t amount to a whole lot over hurdles but since going chasing he’s improved markedly.

Winning a novice chase, he then was gifted a grade 2 win at Cheltenham when Gumball came down 2 out. Unable to live with Shishkin twice he ran well to come 2nd to the Henderson stable-star.

This season has gained much more success. A winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter he got up late to defeat Hitman. A couple of good runs in defeat followed over 2.5 miles before tackling the Denman Chase last time out and relishing going over 3 miles.

Stamina is his forte and he ran well at the festival last year. Expect him to be held up and try to pick up the pieces late with his strong stamina.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/10/22WET24GS11-82
07/04/22AIN25GS11-77
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-103
12/02/22NBY23.5GS11-61
15/01/22KEM20.5Sft11-62
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
5
Mark Walsh

Janidil

J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 164
Days: 40

Seemingly the second string for Willie Mullins is 8 year old Janidil. Coming over from France, he won over 2 miles three times during his debut season before contesting the Albert Bartlett and running well to be 5th at his first try at 3 miles.

His record over fences does boast too many wins but he has run creditably in defeat a few times. Winning a Grade 1 at the end of last season he was then a never nearer 2nd to Energumene over 2 miles. This season has seen him contest some hot races and run well.

Coming 2nd to Allaho in the John Durkan, he then run well twice over3 miles at Leopardstown. Coming 5th in the Savilles chase and 3rd in the Irish Gold Cup. Coming back in trip will suit and he’s already got form with Allaho this campaign.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-10PU
18/04/22FAI20Y11-10F
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-102
05/02/22LEO24.5Y11-103
28/12/21LEO24Y11-125
Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
4
Charlie Deutsch

Fanion D'Estruval

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: 26

Last seen running well in the Ascot Chase behind Fakir D’oudairies to be 3rd, Fanion D’Estruval has looked better since going up to 2.5 miles.

Starting life in France he was already running over fences at a young age so came over to the UK as a 4 year old chaser winning a decent handicap at Newbury impressively.

He’s struggled since moving out of novice company and couldn’t live with Allaho in this race last year and ended up beaten 54 lengths. This season has seen him struggle in deep contests but run well in handicaps.

He did however run well behind Fakir D’oudairies at Ascot but that difficult race might have left a mark on him coming here so soon.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-104
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-73
22/01/22ASC21Sft11-52
26/11/21NBY20GS11-121
24/10/21AIN20Gd11-24

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